How Successful Exhibitors Reach and Connect With Their Target Audience

Business.com / Marketing Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Why do some displays and exhibits seem to get all of the attention, while others struggle at getting a single person to stop by?

Why do some displays and exhibits seem to get all of the attention while others struggle at getting a single person to stop by? There are a number of factors that could have impacted the success of both exhibits, leading one down the road to success. One of these factors that will benefit the exhibitor is to engage with your audience, which will help potential customers remember your business when they are ready to do make a purchase.

As important as engaging with potential leads at trade shows are, over half of exhibitors fail to do this. Only 48 percent of exhibitors were able to achieve meaningful engagement with their audience. With a little planning and by using the following techniques, you will be able to grab the attention of your target demographic before, during, and after the trade show.

Before the Show

  • Social media can be a powerful and low cost form of marketing. Follow hashtags specifically for the event in order to reach out to other exhibitors and attendees. For example, the International Consumer Electronics Show, one of the biggest and most anticipated trade shows of the year, uses #CES, which got tweeted over a million times in the four days of the show by both attendees and exhibitors.
  • Show your level of expertise by hosting webinars that will not only educate your audience, but will also keep your company’s name in mind long after the webinar is over. Make sure to incorporate your booth information at the end in order to keep the viewers informed of when and where the event will be held, as well as your booth number and any other information that will help them easily find your company at the show.
  • It is customers who keep businesses, well, in business, so don’t forget to reach out to current customers. Call, send out emails, or mail post cards with an incentive that can only be received at the event. This could be a free gift, a contest, or discount. Whatever incentive you decide to go with, keep it related to your business. Everyone would love to win the latest tablet, TV, or other gadget, but if it has nothing to do with what your company does, the winner of that item will most likely forget about you after they leave the show, wasting your money and time.

Related Article: Types of Trade Show Displays

During the Show

  • Keep the tweeting going even during trade show hours by posting pictures from your booth along with updates on what is taking place. This will let all your followers know exactly what they are missing by not being at the show.
  • With the large amounts of traffic moving through the trade show aisles, all of the booths can start to look the same in the eye of the attendee. By holding a product demonstration, their eyes will automatically be drawn to you. Let attendees try the products out for themselves to get a better idea of whether or not they need a product like yours.
  • Give out promotional items that will keep your company’s name in the minds of the recipients, yet still stays true to what your brand is all about. For example, toothbrushes or floss could be an effective giveaway for a dental business as long as the dentist’s name and contact information can be found somewhere on the product. Every time the product is used, the attendee will remember the name of the dentist. Some other popular ideas include magnets, key chains, pens, and coffee mugs.

Download the Business.com Guide to Trade Show Displays

After the Show

  • Now that the show is over, you probably have a pile of lead forms or business cards of all the people who may be interested in your products. Stay connected with them by searching for them on LinkedIn or any other social media account they have listed on their card. This is an excellent way to building a long-term relationship with these potential new customers.
  • Send out handwritten thank-you notes with your business card attached. In this day and age where most people send emails out of convenience, a handwritten note will be a nice gesture that will show your leads that you took the time to write it. If possible, personalize it by including something that may pertain to a conversation you had with them at the event.

Trade shows continue to grow in attendance popularity for a number of reasons. In fact, out of the thousands of people who attend, 67% are there to see a specific company. By following these tips, your target audience will also become part of that statistic.

What have you done to connect with your target demographic before, during, or after the trade show?

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